Symposium Intro: Ukraine-Russia Armed Conflict

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| Feb 28, 2022

Russia-Ukraine Armed Conflict

The sad human tragedy in Ukraine is not only a pivotal moment for international peace and security, but also a serious test of the role of law in armed conflict. The situation is one of international armed conflict between States that are members of the United Nations and Parties to, among other treaties, the 1949 Geneva Conventions, 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, and European Convention on Human Rights. More than just a conflict that will challenge these States’ adherence to the law, it will speak volumes about the law of war as a constantly evolving project designed to strike a practical and palatable compromise between the imperatives of military necessity and the demands of humanity.

This post launches the West Point Lieber Institute’s Ukraine-Russia Armed Conflict Symposium. In the coming days, we will offer a series of reflections on international legal aspects of the conflict. We have asked our circle of faculty, advisors, and senior fellows to offer their thoughts on a range of legal issues raised by the conflict, both with respect to the resort to force (jus ad bellum) and the conduct of hostilities (jus in bello). Additionally, in the spirit of our commitment to a pluralistic law of war dialogue, we have extended this invitation to outside, world-renowned experts from a broad range of academic and professional backgrounds.

Look for posts addressing, among other subjects:

    • Russian Self-Defense Claims
    • Peacekeeping Claims
    • Belligerent Rights
    • Neutrality Law
    • Status of Ukrainian Resistance Forces
    • Resort to Proxy Forces
    • Precautionary Obligations by Defenders
    • Maritime Issues concerning the Black Sea
    • Cluster Munition Use

We offer this symposium in support of the Lieber Institute’s mission of fostering a deeper understanding of the relationship between law and armed conflict. Thank you in advance to our contributors and to our readers for their commitment to that objective during these troubling times.

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Sean Watts is a Professor in the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy, Co-Director of the the Lieber Institute for Law and Land Warfare at West Point, and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Articles of War.

COL Winston Williams is Head of the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy, Co-Director of the the Lieber Institute for Law and Land Warfare at West Point, and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Articles of War.

LTC Ronald Alcala is an Associate Professor in the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy and Managing Editor of Articles of War.